A few words on the sing-a-long 1776 itself -- they've got the bones of a great experience there, but it needs some work. For starters, parts of the film are just way too boring for the kids in the audience -- the Broadway-record twenty minutes of no-singing between "The Lees of Old Virginia" and "But Mr. Adams," plus the absolutely show-killing "Molasses To Rum" and John & Abigail Adams duets. But other aspects were great -- animal sounds, shouts of "Huzzah!" and all the new calendar dates, snoring loudly when Franklin slept, etc.
So what they ought to do is divide it into "family" and "grownup" performances. For the kids, edit out all the boring stuff from the DVD, use the narrator/host to explain what you're skipping, and add more (and less tacky) props for the kids -- something better than a plastic made-in-China 50-star flag, for example. And you can bring it down to and hour-and-a-half, easy.
And then the grownups can have their fun separately, and with this, we had some ideas:
- Whenever Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire does anything, shout "What's next?"
- For Delaware's ailing Caesar Romney, "Hail Caesar!"
- For William Daniels as John Adams, do you go with Mr. Feeney or K.I.T.T. references?
- For each of Ken Howard's entrances as Thomas Jefferson, "Shadow!" would be appropriate. Either that or "Dump Sydelle!"
- Also, with the kids gone, there's more you can do with Jefferson's "lust" issues.
- That said, we're probably the only group that had people snapping to honor Edmund Burke's being quoted.